Writer(s): Marshall Mathers, Jeffrey Bass, Kevin Bell, Anne Dudley, Malcolm McLaren, Trevor Horn (see lyrics here)
Released: May 12, 2002
First Charted: May 10, 2002
Peak: 2 US, 11 RR, 13 RB, 15 AR, 11 UK, 4 CN, 15 AU, 21 DF (Click for codes to charts.)
Sales (in millions): 7.0 US, 1.8 UK, 9.01 world (includes US + UK)
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 0.2 radio, 1027.8 video, 1311.64 streaming
Click on award for more details.
About the Song:
“Without Me” was released as the lead single for American rapper Eminem’s fourth album, The Eminem Show. It reached #1 in fifteen countries. The song features “catchy lyrics, the bizarre music video, and…extremely dense rhyming schemes.” JR In a Rolling Stone album review, Kris Ex describes the song as “a fun-loving, barb-laden romp on which he flits from one topic to the next like a bumblebee with ADD.” RS
The song received Grammy nominations for Record of the Year and Best Male Rap Solo Performance and won the Grammy for Best Music Video. It also won four MTV Video Music Awards, including Video of the Year. The video features him with Dr. Dre as parodies of Batman and Robin. They “rescue” a young boy from listening to The Eminem Show, which has a parental advisory on it.
The song was intended as a sequel to “The Real Slim Shady” from The Marshall Mathers LP. Eminem boasts that he is back to save the world, explaining how the music industry and culture in general was boring without him. He also mocks then Vice-President Dick Cheney and his wife Lynne, the latter specifically for her comments that Eminem was “degrading and violating [women] to new levels.” JR
He also lashes out at his mother Debbie, who sued him for being mentioned in “My Name Is” from The Slim Shady LP. He tackles the FCC, Limp Bizkit, and Moby. He refers to the latter as a techno artist and says no one listens to techno. JR He also parodies Prince changing his name to a symbol and mocks comparisons of himself to Elvis Presley as a white artist milking a traditional black art form for success.
First posted 2/12/2021; last updated 6/25/2023.